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Iran to install new nuclear equipment at Natanz site

Iran intends to install more modern equipment at Natanz, one of its main nuclear sites, according to a document seen by AFP on Thursday. The UN atomic agency document said that Iran informed it in a letter dated January 23 that “centrifuge machines type IR2m will be used in Unit…

HRW condemns Russia’s ‘worst post-Soviet crackdown’

Human Rights Watch on Thursday condemned the Russian authorities under President Vladimir Putin for unleashing the toughest crackdown against civil society since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. “The Kremlin in 2012 unleashed the worst political crackdown in Russia’s post-Soviet history,” the New-York based rights watchdog said in…

Australian sprinter banned over racism claim

An Australian sprinter who claimed ahead of the London Olympics he was racially abused by officials and accused the athletics federation of discrimination has been banned for six months. John Steffensen triggered controversy in the lead-up to last year’s Games when he claimed that an Australian Olympic Committee staffer racially…

Beijing hospital visits rise due to pollution

Doctors in Beijing said Thursday that hospital admissions for respiratory complaints rose in recent days during the latest bout of pollution, as air quality in the city began to improve. The US embassy’s air quality index stood at 233 on Thursday morning, or “very unhealthy”, after it peaked at more…

New York Times says they were victim of hackers possibly tied to China’s military

The New York Times said it had fallen victim to hackers possibly connected to China’s military, linking the attacks to its expose of the vast wealth amassed by a top leader’s family. The hackers have over the past four months infiltrated computer systems and snatched staff passwords, and their probing…

Dr. Phil: Man behind ‘fake girlfriend’ Ronaiah Tuiasosopo was ‘romantically in love’ with Manti Te’o

A man who pretended to be the online girlfriend of the US college footballer Manti Te’o for more than a year, is said to have fallen “deeply, romantically in love” with the star. In an interview with the Dr Phil show, hoaxer Ronaiah Tuiasosopo said he was “confused” about his…

With 42 homicides, Chicago sees most violent January in 11 years

With 42 homicides, Chicago sees most violent January in 11 years One month into the new year Chicago has already set an ignominious record for homicides. By late Tuesday, the Chicago Police Department had logged 42 such killings, making this the second consecutive January to top 40 homicides and the…

Obama’s Pentagon pick faces Senate grilling

The Vietnam War veteran picked to lead the Pentagon, Chuck Hagel, will face a tough grilling Thursday from Republicans who have painted him as hostile toward Israel and ready to appease Iran. When Hagel appears before the Senate Armed Services Committee for his confirmation hearing, Republican critics are expected to…

U.S. recovery stalls after first quarter of negative growth in three years

The US economic recovery juddered to a halt in the final months of 2012 as the government slashed defence spending, business orders declined, and Washington fought over the fiscal cliff budget crisis. The GDP of the world’s biggest economy shrank for the first time in three and a half years…

NRA chief Wayne LaPierre feels the heat at Senate hearing

Wayne LaPierre, the firebrand executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association, came under intense questioning from Democratic members of the senate judiciary committee who forced him to admit that the NRA’s opposition to gun control has grown more extreme over the past 15 years. In the course of a four-hour…

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